We’ve all been there: endless list of things we should do to grow our businesses and presence online. I did it, and it was exhausting. I also didn’t feel like myself for some time and my business became a strange entity that I could barely recognized anymore.
What do you do when you find yourself in a maze of “shoulds”?
I decided to go offline. Turned off my computer and decided to visit businesses that I love and started to research more brands from creative entrepreneurs that were doing it their way. I started discovery that what they had in common was the passion in their products and creations and were surrounded by the most supportive community, a community that was not only their brand ambassadors but also they most loyal fans and friends.
We’ve been these loyal fans one way or another. We all have favorite places that we visit frequently and products we love and won’t hesitate to recommend and introduce friends to. There’s so much to learn from the people behind these brands, so many stories to be heard and learn from that I felt compelled to do so.
After days of visits and gathering information and goodies from these creative entrepreneurs, I decided that it had to be out there for others to experience and learn something from.
The Fabricant Way was born, and with it, falling in love again with my business after following blueprints and models from other successful businesses, I decided to take a step back and find my way of growing my business and cultivate my community. I didn’t only gain a new group of friends whose businesses I admire, but they also gave me a gift that was unique and could be applied to my vision in a practical way.
These are the things I learned filming The Fabricant Way:
Your clients will become your teachers by helping you push your work extreme potential.
Have you found yourself turning away work because you’re not sure you’re able to do it? Have you though an idea was so crazy that there was no way to get it done in the time requested? Well, in my conversation with Matt Dilling from Lite Brite Neon Studio, we talked how each project that comes to his studio is a new opportunity for learning and growth. Any difficulty you might face with a new project becomes a new skill you can put into work to the next project that comes your way.
Be wild and precious, keep yourself fresh and be patient.
Daniel Sklaar from Fine and Raw Chocolate known as the Willy Wonka of Bushwick experimented early in his career as a chocolate maker. As a chef he kept experimenting and adding chocolate to everything, which in his own words “makes a good chocolate maker, but doesn’t make a good chef”. Daniel found himself so passionate about chocolate and the sensory experience he could provide to his customers that he decided to pursue a life with this aphrodisiac and decided to create a sensory experience in his factory.
Get some people involved. You’re ultimately going to share whatever you’re doing with people regardless of what you do.
We’ve all had that moment of isolation while creating our vision. Often times we embraced this journey solo and wished had more time in the day to put our precious vision in front of the world, and the the thing is that the sooner you involve people, the sooner you’ll get support and you’ll avoid to be burnt out while trying. Matt Nelson, co-founder of Mellow Pages understood when he had this idea with his business partner Jacob Perkins that their strength relied on the community of writers, small press shops and book lovers they wanted to hang out with. They offered a space for them to come and share their work and discover other writers.
Selling is another type of conversation.
The first time I met Monkey from Wrecords by Monkey I was amazed of his energy and how passionate he was talking about his products. Even if you’re not familiar with his brand, five minutes with him, you’ll fall in love immediately with everything he does. Why? Because he uses his great conversation and people skills to tell you his story, he shares why each product is perfect for you and how you can find a space in your life for his brand. The best part of it, he’ll sell you his products by being himself and disrupting that idea we have of the sleazy sales person. He’ll treat you like a friend and will speak from his hear about his products.
Listen to your community.
Sam Bard and Ash Montgomery own a sexy shop that supports local artists and they welcome everyone that is interested in either finding new art, have a question about intimacy or is just looking for something different and special for a special woman. They have created a bond with their local community and created open channels to include those that might not be part of the Shag Brooklyn world, they try to accommodate as many people as they can and respect their community in such a way that no one will feel uncomfortable visiting them. Ashley told me during our conversation that people are surprised when they go to their store, they start discovering slowly the world they’ve created for them and let them experience as much as they want of it. Nothing is too obvious or too bold to make you uncomfortable, and the moments they make it that way, they make sure everyone around them (other shops) are ok with it.
Clearly these fabricants have found their way of creating thriving businesses by following their passion. They’ve all found their ways of growth and measure their next steps by working closely to their communities, and each of these lessons (among other golden nuggets) is what I remind myself everyday while growing Candelita.
How do you see yourself applying any of these lessons in your business today?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!